Ep #201: A Business Intersection
All businesses evolve in some way. What you offer, how you offer your services, what your area of expertise is—we all level up, get clarification, and grow. It’s inevitable that at some point in your business ownership journey, your business will change. It can be frightening when you are in the thick of it, but it’s an important process for you to undertake.
So, how can you recognize when you and your business are ready to undergo an evolution? And how can you help your business along in this evolution? After going through multiple significant business evolutions myself, I’m going to be sharing my framework with you today, so make sure to tune in!
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Next episode is #202, where we will be discussing the communities within your business.
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Read the Transcript Below:
Stacey Brown Randall: How many times has your business evolved? Now, depending on where you are in your business journey, you may be too new in business for an evolution. But if you’ve been in business for any length of time, your answer may be more than once. Let’s talk about it.
You are not just another hustling salesperson. You are the expert, the
resource, the valuable partner for your clients, and how you grow your
business should reflect how your clients see you.
Welcome to the Roadmap to Grow Your Business podcast. We generate
referrals without asking, build positive client experiences, and help
you take control of your business.
Here’s your charmingly sarcastic host, Stacey Brown Randall.
Stacey Brown Randall: Hey there, and welcome to episode 201 of the Roadmap to Grow Your Business podcast. I’m your host, Stacey Brown Randall. We’re going to dive right in to today’s episode, but first I just want to say to everyone who participated in our 200th episode celebration with our gifts and prizes or giveaways, thank you. Thank you for participating in my 200th episode celebration. It was so fun to be able to gift you guys some pretty cool gifts. And of course, we’re announcing the winners of all the prizes as the week unfolds. So make sure you stay tuned. Let’s talk about a business evolution. All businesses in some way will evolve. Maybe you’ll evolve what you offer, services, products, or a mix. Maybe you will evolve how you offer your services. Your pricing structure will definitely evolve. Who you work with may also evolve and what your area of expertise is may evolve and change as well.
Eventually as business owners, we all level up, evolve, grow, streamline at some point. Oh, actually, at many, probably many points. On your business ownership journey, your business will change. It can be scary and exhilarating all at the same time, which gives for some very unusual ping-ponging type of emotions. But allowing your business to evolve, whether because something happens and it forces you to, or if you’re lucky and you get to evolve into it based on things changing in your business on your timetable, it’s a really important journey process for you to undertake. And again, likely you won’t go through it just once, but probably more than once. And some business evolutions are small. And so maybe even calling them an evolution because you just happen to raise your rates doesn’t feel like an evolution. Maybe that word’s too big. It’s got too much of a definition to just go along with the fact that you’ve raised your pricing or you raised your rates.
But your business will evolve. It will grow. It will streamline. It will change. And it’s an important journey. It’s an important process for you to undertake. So I don’t want you to ever shy away from it. We all do that at some level. It’s like, making big changes is scary so we put it off, we overthink it, we overanalyze it, we go through analysis paralysis. And then eventually something happens that forces us into that change. Sometimes we have got to hit that rock bottom place before we’ll actually make a change that we know will have been good for all along.
In this episode, I’m going to walk you through some thoughts that I have had after going through the business evolution process a couple of times in the 10 years that I’ve almost been in business. I’m going to walk you through some thoughts and then a framework that I use that has come to help me over time. I didn’t always have these thoughts in my mind or this framework that I want to share with you when I was starting the evolution process. Would’ve been helpful.
So I thought since it’s helpful for me now, and I would’ve liked to have had it earlier in my journey, no matter where you are in your business ownership journey, whether you’re a year in or 11 years in, an evolution is coming more than likely. And I just want to give you some thoughts and a framework in which to deal with that as it comes. And I’m also going to share some funny stories about how sometimes I went kicking and screaming into this. And sometimes I took the bull by the horns and pulled myself faster along than I was actually probably prepared for, because I was just so ready for the change to happen.
So my business has evolved a couple of times. When this business first started, it was one-on-one hourly coaching. Then it evolved to primarily just selling online programs. And of course now, I most recently as of last year evolved again. That doesn’t mean every time you evolve you leave everything behind, but you probably do it less and less to make room for all the things you want to do moving forward. And there have been times in my evolution where I have gone into… I went into hourly coaching knowing this isn’t sustainable forever. I was going to have to figure out if I didn’t want to tap out at an hourly rate as a coach in my area. And with so many only hours in the day, if I didn’t want to tap out or hit the glass ceiling or constantly be trading dollars for hours and then running out of hours, I knew I was going to finally tap out and I was going to hit a point where I couldn’t make anymore.
And if I was going to be okay with that, great. I could continue there. But for me, I just wasn’t. There were other things that I wanted to do. And so for me, I knew going into coaching, you will eventually max out. You will eventually not have any more hours to trade for dollars. And you’re going to have to decide if that’s the schedule you want, if that’s the amount of money you’re okay with making. Particularly if you get to a point where you can’t raise your rate much higher. I knew that going into it. So I knew an evolution when I started my productivity in business coaching practice, where I was trading dollars for hours and doing hourly coaching, one-on-one hourly coaching. I knew that it would eventually evolve to something else, but some of my other business ever evolutions have kind of taken me by a surprise.
And so I just want to give you some things to consider if you feel like an evolution or if it’s just a leveling up or it’s just a growth or a scaling it you need to do, you can use whatever word you want to use. It doesn’t have to feel like you’re, hey, I am teaching people productivity and now I’m teaching people to do referrals without asking. That’s an evolution of what I teach. Literally changing my area of expertise and then creating a business around it, products and services to sell around it. So it can be lots of different types of leveling-up, scalability, evolution, streamlining it, growth, whatever you want to look at, however you want to look at it. But I do know it’s inevitable.
And it doesn’t really matter how long you’ve been in business, because you could also be focusing on a business evolution where you are evolving yourself out of the business as well. So we will all go through it at some point. You cannot hide from this. I find that it’s important that you notice the signs that your business and yourself are really wanting to evolve. Now, I find that the self piece usually yells louder than the business because you are the business a lot when you’re in a small team or you’re a solopreneur, but the business itself, sometimes it’s kind of waving you down, trying to get your attention being like, “Hey, Hey, Hey, we could do better. We could do more. We could do this differently. We need to evolve.” So it’s just important to notice the signs. So like I mentioned, after going through a few pretty significant evolutions, some that I knew when I started was coming and I sought it out and others, I kind of went kicking and screaming into it. I got a few thoughts for you. And then I’ve got a framework.
So let’s start with these thoughts. Number one, when you find yourself thinking, though most of the time, it’s probably going to feel like daydreaming, but when you find yourself thinking or daydreaming about shifting something in your business, it’s from pressure, it’s from overwhelm, it’s from happiness or a lack of happiness, notice what has happened to prompt that. Did you get fed up with something? Why? Do you not want to work with a certain type of client because of a situation you just dealt with with that type of client? Or do you not want to find yourself in a certain position or situation again? Why? It’s really important you ask yourself why.
When you have these feelings or these emotional reactions to things going on in your business, you have to ask yourself why. And what’s important there is that you’re looking around to see, well, what just happened that prompted me to feel or think that way? Is it something with your schedule? Did you just come off a really hard day, a really hard week, and you’re just feeling like, ugh, I don’t know how much more of this I can take. Why? Look back. Was it how you’re scheduling out your days? Maybe you don’t have any kind of control over your days so you feel like that a lot. Okay, well then maybe that’s more of a productivity issue, but you need to get control on the schedule that you have. Or it could be something more. It could be the type of work that you’re doing and how you’re having to spend your hours to take care of your clients. Based on how you provide your services, that could be really kind of rubbing you the wrong way or starting to rub you the wrong way.
So the thing I recommend that you do is when you find yourself thinking about, I don’t want to do that anymore, I want it to look different, here’s how I want it to look. You’re just daydreaming. You’re thinking. You’re brainstorming. You’re brain dumping. Whatever you want to call it. When you’re thinking about shifting something in your business, notice what has happened to prompt that. Notice it and write it down. That should be in all caps, write it down. Notice what’s happening, how you’re feeling, what came right before you feeling that way and then write it down. Because that helps you look for patterns or even aha moments. Sometimes when we have to write something down and then we go back later and we read it, it speaks to us in a way we never anticipated that it would.
And if you’re looking at what you’re writing down and you see this pattern emerge, you’re like, wow. I am really frustrated after dealing with A and I deal with this A situation at least twice a week, or at least three times a month or whatever it is. You can notice patterns and you can notice a-has. They can inform the types of changes you ultimately want to make. What I find though as you’re writing these things down, if you don’t have a framework for then which to think through stuff, you can kind of just get stuck on a hamster wheel in your head. So I’m going to give you a framework too to what to do with those thoughts, but it really does start with when you find yourself thinking about changing something in your business, write it down and keep a list.
The second thing I want you to consider is when are you most happy with your business? When are you most happy? What do you reach to do when you’re avoiding other tasks and then you secretly, or not so secretly, enjoy them? Ask yourself, what could you do all day long, maybe not all day, but at least for a solid four or five hours and you would be happy? When are you most happy with your business? Notice those things and write it down because that’s going to inform where you’re going to find your energy. And as much as we all love our businesses, there are just some days we have drag ourselves into the office to do the work that we need to do. And then there are other days that we go skipping into work and we can’t wait to get there and we kind of maybe don’t tell anybody, start the night before, because we’re so excited to do this thing or this project or work with this client or whatever, that we’re skipping into work and starting early. Why? Notice those things.
Notice when you drag yourself into work and notice when you go skipping into your office to tackle work. It could be the what you’re dealing with. And these things could inform some level of change, shift, level-up. I’m trying to think of all the words I can say except and not say evolve, but I’m going to say evolve again too, and evolve your business.
So those are the two things I just want you to think about. And you know what? You can do this and you may notice the things that you find yourself thinking about changing and not happy with. And then you may write those things down for weeks or months before you do anything with it. Same thing with what you’re happy with. You may write those things down for days or weeks before you do anything about it. One thing I know about myself, when I’m starting something new, like a new project, I get all excited. I get all excited to write out the project plan, figure out what we’re doing. And then I get all excited to take the first couple of steps and then I kind of lose a little interest. And then I bring it back as I’m finishing it up because I’m just so ready to be done. There are moments in our business where we’re not going to love everything. I’m not interested in you loving everything. I love my business, but I don’t love everything. I don’t love doing everything.
So it’s okay for you to think about it in that way. But take notes and you may take days or weeks or months of notes before you’re actually ready to do anything with that. With those notes though, eventually you’re going to be ready to kind of look through a lens, which is this framework I want to show you, but look through a lens of how to take that stuff and how you’re feeling about your business and be like, what do I do with this? And how do I come up with something better on the back end that I’m actually going to enjoy? Again, some of the things that you’re going to change in your business are going to be prompted by what’s happening that you’re fed up with that you don’t want to deal with again. Definitely happens with me. Or a moment of you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed or there’s just something going on with like your schedule that you’re like, I can’t live through many more weeks like this. That’s going to inform some shifts and changes you’re probably going to want to make in your business.
But you’re going to take that information and you’re going to apply it through this framework. And this is the same framework that I have used when I’ve been making changes in my business. And sometimes I make minor changes and tweaks just to see how I feel about something before I go all in. And I’ve talked about this a little bit, but not in terms of this framework. I’ve talked about how I’ve used it, I want to talk about how I think you guys can use it when you need it.
And this framework that I use to figure out what I want my business to look like is these three parts. Number one, what is my zone of genius? We all have it. We all have a zone of genius that when we’re doing something, we are just so good at it. Now here’s the thing. We have zones of genius that we’re amazing at, but we don’t necessarily enjoy. And then we have zones of genius where we love and are so happy. Figuring out the happiness versus the unhappiness within your zone of genius is kind of important.
Now there are some people who would listen to this episode and be like, if it’s your zone of genius, you can’t be unhappy doing it. And I’m going to say, I disagree. I’m going to call something on that. Some letters that I’m not going to say, because I don’t want to have to say that this podcast has a bad word in it, but it starts with bull. I’m just going to call that because I think there are times where I do something and I can remember people saying, “You’re so good at it.” And me being, “Doesn’t mean I love it.” I can be really good at something and not love it.
But when you think about out your zone of genius, there is a happiness factor to it. There is this place where you love doing it, you’re good at it, and you could do it a lot. Not that you want to do it all the time, because everything has a space and everything needs a break. But this idea behind this zone of genius, where is it for you? If you had asked me this question two years ago, I would’ve told you that my zone of genius was in what I teach. The what I teach it, the how I teach it, the unique perspective that I have on referrals about how you can generate referrals naturally without manipulation, without incentivizing, and of course, without even asking. The what I teach, that’s my zone of genius, but I’ve been teaching it for years and years and years. The same thing.
And then of course, obviously evolving that as my clients evolve with me to give them things that they need for year two, year three, year four, year five and on and on and on. But you would think that, well Stacey, your zone of genius is when you’re teaching. Whether you’re up on stage or you’re doing a virtual Zoom presentation, or you’re recording a video and you’re teaching. And I know my stuff and in those moments, I bring a lot of energy and I really enjoy it, but they’re really draining to me. And I kind of afterwards feel like I just want to go sit on the couch, drink a Coca Cola, stuff my face full of M&M’s and binge watch something on Netflix.
What I realized that I really enjoy doing that doesn’t drain me afterwards which really feels like my zone of genius is answering questions. When people have actually consumed what I’m teaching that I didn’t have to teach them live, they consumed it through a recording. They watched a video and then they come to me with their questions because then I get to help them in a totally different way. I get to make sure they understand it, I can make sure that nothing is confusing them, and I can apply it to their business and their world. Your zone of genius, what is it? It’s kind of an important one you’re going to want to know.
The second part of the framework is your sweet spot. And it’s your sweet spot of what you offer and how you offer it. Now I mentioned that my business has evolved some. So we evolved from hourly one-on-one coaching where people sign twice a month coaching contracts with me, where they would coach with me for six months or a year. So consistency from a revenue perspective was awesome. I always knew in January 1st, pretty much what I was going to make throughout the year till December 31st. But I went from that hourly one-on-one coaching to online programs and what I never paid attention to was that I was going to miss the connection. I wasn’t going to miss the connection of wanting six hours a day, one-on-one sessions for six hours a day for two or three days a week. I didn’t miss that. I’m going to be honest with you. But I did miss the connection piece.
And I think over time, and some of you listening may have actually participated in these, I think it’s why I offered boot camps as bonuses, because I was like, I am just craving talking to people who are learning my stuff so that I can connect with them and help them more. I want to go deeper. And so I did these four weeks and six week bootcamps. We did a couple in 2020 and 2021. I had done some before that as well. But I think that’s why I was always looking to do the bootcamp because I was looking for that connection. So then I started paying attention to wait a minute, sometimes it’s not only what you offer, it’s how you offer it. Because I had gone from all connection, hour after hour after hour, one-on-one coaching, to very, very little connection. A lot of it just being people buying an online program and me communicating with them via email-ish through a portal that we use. And then adding in my VIPs where I did get some one-on-ones. But even that became quarterly over time. Even my inner circle became quarterly overtime. It wasn’t enough.
I hadn’t found the sweet spot of me making sure I was operating in my zone of genius of the what I teach, the what I do, the how I offer it. So it’s that sweet spot of how you offer it, but also what you offer. So going from one-on-one coaching to online courses, I removed the connection piece and didn’t realize how much I was actually going to miss it. So I started experimenting to bring it back in 2019, in 2020. And then of course in 2021, everything kind of came to a head and we completely shifted some things before we got to the end of the year. I really thought it was going to be a 2022 shift. And I had a business buddy, he was like, you are being scared and you are not man-ing up and you’re just not doing what you need to do. You need to do it in fourth quarter. And I was like, ha, ha, ha, it’ll be second quarter of 2022.
And then as 2021 evolved and as that year kind of continued, I was like, nope, she’s right. I have to launch this in 2021. I am desperate to do this. I’m so excited. I can’t wait. So we evolved again. And you’ve heard me talk about building a referable business, this new program plus coaching that I offer. I’m not be the details here. There are other episodes where you can find it and we can put some information in the show notes and link to it in the show notes as well. But what I want you to understand is that I was looking for my sweet spot of the what I offer and the how I offered it. And what I recognized is that I wanted to have connection with the people who were learning from me. I didn’t want to have the necessarily teach them live. I wanted them to go through the training and then come to me with all of their questions. Two questions or 22 questions, I didn’t care. Let me answer your questions. Let me be in community with you.
And guess what? That leads to where your clients get their best results and that is the third part of the framework. I already knew from inner circle work that I had done in a VIP level of my programs when I was much more in connection with people and doing one-on-ones or group sessions, I already knew that’s where people were getting their best results because they had access to me. Not just because I was going to answer their question and they wouldn’t be stuck, but because I could hold them accountable. “You said you were going to do this. Did you do it?” It helps when people are trying to get stuff done versus just, “Are you doing it?” And you’re an online program and nobody knows.
So I already knew that people having access to me and me being able to hold them accountable is where my clients were starting to get their best results. When they knew a check-in was coming with me and they were preparing for it and they knew they had to give me what they had done and what results they had received. So I paid attention to where was I in my zone of genius. What is my sweet spot of how and what I offer and where do my clients get their best results?
Now, do I have clients who get their best results through an online program where they don’t really communicate with me other than uploading their work and getting my feedback on a few points? Of course. I’ve had people have amazing referral explosions going through my online programs, but I also know that where I see people move a little bit faster is when they have access to me. And if they’re the type of person who may fall off the wagon and buy a program and then not do it, but yet if they can have accountability with me, they’re more likely to do it, then I know they’re going to get better results.
And so using that framework helped me arrive at what ultimately became building a referable business. But I evolved. I recognized some signs that I was dealing with. Some exhaustion that I had after certain weeks in my business based on a lot of one-on-ones which is not sustainable. In addition to very quiet weeks where there was nothing happening and it was just talking to people over email, which just isn’t the same in connection points. And then realizing how I wanted to help people and how I wanted to show up. And so I do.
I go skipping. Into every Wednesday right now, when we do our weekly sessions, they won’t always be on Wednesdays in the future as the group grows, but I go skipping in the middle part of my week going, “Yes. I get to hang with my BRB members today. They’re going to ask me questions. I’m going to hold them accountable. They’re going to tell me their results. This is going to be awesome. And I can encourage them. And that’s who I want to show up as because that’s who I naturally want to be. I’m okay with holding you accountable and encouraging you all at the same time.
So I just want you to have this framework as well. Where is your zone of genius? What is it? What’s in that zone of genius? You may not know off the top of your head. It took a while for me to really hone in on my zone of genius. And we all have more than just one zone of genius. We have probably a couple of things we’re really good at. And when it comes to something like that, we want to make sure that we are actually doing that more often than not. So what’s your zone of genius? What’s your sweet spot of what you offer and how you offer it? And then where do your clients get their best results? That’s the three part framework.
Of course, I’m going to map this out for you guys on our show notes page for this episode. And the show notes page for this episode is staceybrownrandall.com/201. And of course, Stacey has an E. But I just want you to think about your business is going to evolve. And this isn’t an episode for people who are like, yep, I’m one or two years in, I’m three years in, it’s time to evolve. I’m almost 10 years in and I’ve gone through three evolutions.
Now my subject matter expertise has only changed once, and then that has continued. But how I offer my services has completely evolved over time as well. And that’s a good thing. And I want you to go into it with open arms. I don’t want you to use the evolution because you’re hiding from something you don’t want to do in your business. Usually your business is telling you it’s time and you’re feeling it. That’s why I want you to go through the process of writing down what’s happening, how are you feeling, and what’s triggering it. And whether that is when you’re unhappy or when you notice things that you find situations you don’t want to be in again, or when you’re really, really happy and you want to do more things. What you could do all day long, write those things down and then use this three part framework to help you.
And again, like I said, we’ll put the 1, 2, 3 in the show notes page so you can grab this really easy if you want to screenshot it from the show notes page or just have it as you’re kind of moving forward and thinking about your next business evolution. You may be years away from one. You may come back to this episode years from now, or you may be saying “Yeah, 2022, 2023, there’s an evolution coming.” Well now you’ve got some resources to help you evolve better.
Okay, next week coming up is episode 202. That’s right, episode 202. And we are going to be talking about the communities within your business. It’s an awesome episode. You’re not going to want to miss it. So until then, take control and grow your business. Bye for now.
Thanks for listening to the Roadmap to Grow Your Business podcast. To
access all resources and links mentioned in today’s show, and to
connect with Stacey, head over to www.staceybrownrandall.com.